Following the announcement that golf was to be included in the first phase the Republic of Ireland’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business and the Northern Ireland Executive’s Approach to Decision Making earlier this month, attention quickly turned to the feasibility of competitive golf.
Advance planning during the COVID-19 pandemic for local, national and international competitions has been extremely challenging. At all times, the ILGU’s planning has been driven by complete adherence to public health measures in order to ensure the safety of all involved in the organisation and playing of competitive golf.
Following a high level of correspondence and communication from club golfers and golf clubs on the issue of inter club golf this year, the ILGU Tournament Committee prepared a survey to gauge the potentiality of running inter club competition for the remainder of 2020.
It was believed that running these events may have been possible by amending the conditions under which the competitions are usually played.
Due to considerations such as reduced timeframe, availability of courses and health guidelines, the proposed terms were presented to clubs:
- Competition would commence when the ROI government travel restrictions are lifted and would only include singles competitions.
- Competitions would run to District final only and a minimum number of entries would be required to make a District final feasible.
- All matches would be played on a home and away basis with no neutral venues.
- The timeline between matches would have to be very tight with two week windows for matches to be completed.
It was also envisaged that availability of courses would be limited due to demand of members play and a number of mid-week fixtures would be likely.
Of clubs who responded the following results presented an overwhelming vote in favour of cancelling inter club events for 2020.
Senior Cup: 34% in favour of competition, 66% in favour of cancellation
AIG Junior Cup (107 responses): 27% in favour of competition, 73% in favour of cancellation
AIG Intermediate Cup (177 responses): 27% in favour of competition, 73% in favour of cancellation
AIG Minor Cup (146 responses): 23% in favour of competition, 77% in favour of cancellation
AIG Challenge Cup (149 responses): 22% in favour of competition, 78% in favour of cancellation
Sandra Barnett, ILGU Tournament Manager said: ‘We are obviously disappointed that we have had to cancel the inter club competition for 2020 but we extend a huge thank you to our sponsors AIG and Revive Active and clubs who were scheduled to host matches this year. Their support is acknowledged and we look forward to resuming inter club golf in 2021.’
Inter club events cancelled:
- AIG Ladies Cups and Shields
- Revive Active Fourball
- Girls’ Inter Club
- Irish Senior Cup
*The ILGU Silver and Bronze Medals and ILGU Junior Medal will also be cancelled for 2020